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River Report - April 29, 2021

The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
The Hendricksons continue to roll - albeit in fits and spurts.  We’ll have one or two slow days and then a day with a long two-hour hatch.  Fish are ever taking more notice and the rise strengthens with stronger emergences and healthy spinner falls.  Anglers should be ready to present all phases of the Spring mayflies.  Be sure to carry nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners with you to the creek on every outing.

Also be prepared to knot on a black caddis as those bugs will explode in the coming days.  And never overlook the small olives that can be masked by emergences of meatier flies.  Streamers are always a fine option when fish aren’t rising, but peacock soft hackles and pheasant tail soft hackles are a fantastic wet fly choice when black caddis and Hendricksons are on the menu.

Consider your pace - think about how fast you’re moving - and take that cue from the rhythm of the rise.  When the rise and insect activity is frantic, fish with immediacy.  And, conversely, when the rise and insect activity is sparse - slow your pace.  Do more watching than casting.  Fish deliberately and with focus and intent.  Take advantage of every opportunity.

I did jus that one day this past week.  The water was cold and the air still.  Only an occasional fly broke to the surface, so with nothing rising, I simply sat and watched the river slide by.  After minutes that better qualified as parts of an hour passed, finally a fine trout rose once.  I didn’t make a move.  Twenty more minutes stretched past and then another rise.  Ten more minutes and the trout nosed the surface three times in rhythm.  This, like so many Au Sable River excursions became hunting rather than fishing.

It meant sneaking silently and moving little.  It was trout stalking.  Like softly moving over wet leaves while creeping into a whitetail’s woods.  The trout was big.  The cast was long and the fly had to drift as if unattached to anything unnatural for long curls in the current.

When the trout took, the line went tight in a spark and the thick rainbow exploded - twisting airborne in three powerful leaps.

It is my best fish of the season so far.

I’m betting there will be many more to come

I’ll see you on the River,